Politicians are at it again. Claiming to reduce premiums by new subsidies. That is not reducing anything. It’s simply shifting more costs; in this case to taxpayers. The ongoing focus on premiums is the great deception started by Obamacare. In fact, Obamacare contributed directly to higher premiums.
One more time; the problem is not premiums, it’s the cost, utilization and type of health care being provided to Americans. Why is this so hard to understand?
An updated bill to shore up ObamaCare’s markets could reduce premiums by 10 percent next year and by 20 percent in 2020 and 2021 for states that get extra funding from the administration, according to preliminary estimates from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The bill, originally introduced last year by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), could be added to a long-term spending package Congress hopes to pass next week. Alexander and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) made several changes to the bill since it was introduced in October to gain support from House Republicans, including an added requirement that funds not be used for plans that cover abortions.
A Murray aide said she is continuing to negotiate with Alexander. Murray has previously called the abortion restrictions a “no go.” “Sen. Murray is continuing to negotiate with Chairman Alexander and is hopeful Republicans will agree soon to policies that help bring down premiums and undo some of the damage Republican health care sabotage has caused, rather than once again putting partisan ideology and politics ahead of families’ health,” an aide said.
Other changes in the bill include $30 billion for three years of funding for reinsurance and invisible high risk programs — intended to help insurers cover the costs of especially sick and costly patients in an effort to bring down premiums for everyone else — and three years of key ObamaCare payments called cost sharing reduction subsidies (CSRs). Those subsidies reimburse insurers for giving discounted copays and deductibles to low-income patients.